China is on a highway to economic prosperity while the country’s tech industry plays the key driver role. Seeing the whopping price of tech companies’ stock value, there are tons of accompanying issues underneath. The phenomenon of employees working overtime in China’s tech industry has been existed and discovered for years. The employees are strugglingly depressing under the companies’ radical pressure while the government chose to be indulgent. Economy first, human second.
As a citizen who concerns the life quality and happiness of employees in the tech industry in China. I initiate AnonymousPlan, a project of an online platform which gathering the employees to anonymously publish the companies’ actual working overtime status (how many working hours per week) in the platform’s system. The realistic data will damage the reputation of the unappreciated companies even make them difficult to hire staff; also, the data blessing the valuable companies and appreciate a healthy working culture. Hopefully, this project can regulate the social atmosphere in China’s tech industry and awaken people’s critical consciousness.
• How can Design Thinking as a methodology address social issues？
• How can a digital product/service defend human rights?
• How can an anonymous online platform influence industry, stakeholders, society even government department?
• Establish an anonymous online platform which gathers employees in tech industry in China.
• Integrate with a database of China’s tech companies profiles. ( or alternative solution)
• Encourage people to join the platform and participate the movement anonymously.
• Increase the project’s credibility and influence by gathering more users and data.
Design and Social Innovation / Design and Social Issues
The methodology I will be using is Design Thinking.The notion of design as a “way of thinking” in the sciences can be traced to Herbert A. Simon’s 1969 book The Sciences of the Artificial, and in design engineering to Robert McKim’s 1973 book Experiences in Visual Thinking. Bryan Lawson’s 1980 book How Designers Think, primarily addressing design in architecture, began a process of generalizing the concept of design thinking. A 1982 article by Nigel Cross established some of the intrinsic qualities and abilities of design thinking that made it relevant in general education and thus for wider audiences. Peter Rowe’s 1987 book Design Thinking, which described methods and approaches used by architects and urban planners, was a significant early usage of the term in the design research literature. Rolf Faste expanded on McKim’s work at Stanford University in the 1980s and 1990s, teaching “design thinking as a method of creative action.” Design thinking was adapted for business purposes by Faste’s Stanford colleague David M. Kelley, who founded the design consultancy IDEO in 1991. Richard Buchanan’s 1992 article “Wicked Problems in Design Thinking” expressed a broader view of design thinking as addressing intractable human concerns through design. Design Think has its process of Discovery, Frame Opportunity, Incubate, Ideate, Evaluate, Rapid Prototype/test, Deliver, Iterate & Scale.
RESOURCES AND MATERIALS
Design Thinking Toolkit
Programming Online Training
Website Framework (Coding Templates)
Contacts in China
• In one sense, I run this product remotely in Canada from China but essential this is a online-based project so I don’t think it will be a huge problem.
Regard to the website, there are two issues I should concern. One is the user privacy and another is about fake users. By fake users I mean users who publish inaccurate data for damaging competitors or whitewash own company.
• Programming Ability
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PROJECT
This project has the potential to create social impact. In some sense, it could be regarded as online democracy or online movement.
This project can help and inspire people. If this project will be spread over very well and gather a number of data, it can help employee choose future employers wisely, even alert the companies and industry. However, if this project meet difficulty to get vast people participate, it still show some reality of the industry and be a meaningful movement to inspire people. For any unfair treatment, there is a way to defend with the help of the Internet.
Brown, Tim. “The Making of a Design Thinker.” Metropolis Oct. 2009: 60–62. p. 60: “David Kelley … said that every time someone came to ask him about design, he found himself inserting the word thinking to explain what it is that designers do. The term design thinking stuck.”
Buchanan, Richard, “Wicked Problems in Design Thinking,” Design Issues, vol. 8, no. 2, Spring 1992.
Cross, Nigel. “Designerly Ways of Knowing.” Design Studies 3.4 (1982): 221-27.
Lawson, Bryan. How Designers Think: The Design Process Demystified. London: Architectural, 1980
McKim, Robert (1973). Experiences in Visual Thinking. Brooks/Cole Publishing Co.
Rowe, G. Peter (1987). Design Thinking. Cambridge: The MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-68067-7.
Simon, Herbert (1969). The Sciences of the Artificial. Cambridge: MIT Press.
I was presenting my thesis idea of UX and business (how can digital user experience transform traditional business) during the class but the idea hasn’t been appreciated. I think I understand the reasons and I listen to the suggestions. The idea I had was highly from my industry experience as a UX designer in digital agency and software company, but I guess my interest doesn’t fit a university thesis project’s criteria.
Based on the feedback I received, and thanks for the keywords & questions brainstorming practice led by Michelle, they help me have a new direction which might be more researchable and explorable. To replace “UX” with “digital technology” and replace “business” with “social issues”, my new thesis idea is about how can digital technology address social issues. By social issues, I mean environment, education, charity, poverty, equity, disease, accessibility, inclusion, etc.
In the literature review part of our class, I found an article “Canada’s ‘innovation agenda’ isn’t just tech – it’s social”. This article brings up a concept of “Social Innovation” and it claims digital technology could be used not only for economic impact but also social issues. The author of this article is the founder and CEO of Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) which is at Regent Park, Toronto. I think I will keep looking at this organization’s website as it has a lot of case studies of what their members are doing.
Thanks for all the feedback you gave to me, I’m glad my new idea had been accepted by the end of the class. I think my next step is to narrow down what is the digital technology I will use and what is the social issue I will address. I know I will choose a technology I’m familiar with and a social issue I concern. I will work on it for next week’s presentation.
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